UCLA (31-4) vs. Kentucky (31-5) Prediction & Game Preview
NCAA Tournament: UCLA vs. Kentucky fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, March 24
Game Time: 9:39 pm ET
Venue: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
What’s The Deal With UCLA?
It took a half against Cincinnati to get everything rolling, and then the Bruins ripped their way to a 79-67 win. That was UCLA at its best, spreading the scoring around evenly among the five starters, getting a monster performance from Lonzo Ball, and hitting 11-of-28 from three. Best of all, the Bruins only turned the ball over three times against the dangerous Bearcat D.
But that’s what UCLA does. It’s No. 1 in the nation in shooting percentage and tops in assists, scoring, and turnover ratio. Great inside and out, the Bruins can score in a variety of ways, they can block shots, and they can hit the boards.
What’s The Deal With Kentucky?
Is Kentucky struggling, or is it just fighting its way through two dangerous battles to survive and advance? It had a hard time with Northern Kentucky, and a more difficult time with Wichita State, holding on for a nasty 65-62 win. The defense was solid, but the free throw shooting was off – he only hit 12-of-18 – and getting out-rebounded didn’t help.
The Cats can put up big points, but they don’t shoot all that well on the outside on a regular basis, and being lousy on the free throw line is the norm. This is a flawed team that continues to try to figure it out on the fly, but that’s the norm with yet another John Calipari team full of young stars.
What’s Going To Happen
Take … the … over. It’s the team that averages 90 points per game vs. the team that averages 85 per game. These two are going to trade haymakers at a special level, with lots of mood swings, big runs, and a whole bunch of fun.
This is a Final Four level matchup that shouldn’t be played in the third round. They’re both good enough to win the whole show, but UCLA is a bit stronger in too many key areas. The outside shooting, and another big game from Ball, will help the Bruins win a classic.
Fearless Prediction & Line
UCLA 92, Kentucky 87
Line: PICK, 0/u: 165.5
ATS Confidence: 3.5
5: Leave Vegas richer in body, mind & spirit
1: Leave the sportsbook, get tickets for Menopause The Musical or Puppetry of the Penis